On a sunny Sunday afternoon, allkpop caught up with Jonathan Park (better known as Dumbfoundead throughout the rap battle scene) eating some Pinkberry hanging out at the store Mobius in his hometown, Koreatown in Los Angeles. This charismatic performer recently toured with Far East Movement and Epik High, emceeing and opening the nights to throngs of fans in four different cities.
He started rapping at the age of 14 at house parties and just about anywhere he could in the MacArthur Park area in Los Angeles, California. Then in the the 9th grade, he went on stage at an open mike night in South Central. “I thought I was dope…I realized I wasn’t even that dope at all, I got a reality check, and began to craft my skills as a performer.”
When he was eighteen, Dumbfoundead went on his first tour, visiting countries such as Germany, Canada and Amsterdam. It was an eye-opening experience for him as he had never been to San Francisco or San Diego, despite having grown up in Los Angeles. Along with travel opportunities, his rapping craft has also given him a chance to meet with most of his fellow artists he considers both friends and heroes.
For Jonathan, being a Korean is message enough for his fans. “When I was growing up rapping and doing music, to me, that community already has a connection to me, like parentals and lifestyle and background. To me, my message is like pretty much I have the same background too, but I took a different path and just went for what I really believed in.”
For the future, Dumbfoundead would like to do something “definitely music related…I keep creating new goals. If i wasn’t a rapper, I’d be a filmmaker. I’d like to produce and organize shows. I know I want to work with young kids in Koreatown. When I was growing up there were so many kids being unproductive and hanging out in pool halls and karaoke rooms every night. When I was growing up as a kid, there was really nothing here for kids. There’s so many cool bars and venues here in K-town but nothing to do with performances for music reaching out to kids. Hip-hop spots, they really helped me out a lot and kept me from doing a lot bad things.”
You can catch Dumbfoundead at Kollaboration’s very first Hip Hop & Laugh Off event in Los Angeles this Friday, June 12th!
Show your support by purchasing his album, Fun with Dumb here.
Photography by Michelle Kim